Iowa Gov. Chet Culver (D) painted former Gov. Terry Branstad (R) as a relic of the past in his reelection kick-off speech Monday.

Branstad, a four-term governor, is the favorite to emerge from the June 8 GOP gubernatorial primary with Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats and state Rep. Rod Roberts.

"That's really what this election is about on Nov. 2. It's a choice, a clear choice between building on our progress in this great state or going backward to the failed policies of Bush and Branstad," Culver told a crowd of Democrats in Ames. "I don't know about you, but I don't want to go back."

The Branstad camp responded by attacking Culver's record.

"The results of the Culver administration economic policies are unemployment at a 24-year high and more than 114,000 Iowans out of work," Jeff Boeyink, Branstad's campaign manager, said in a statement. "Contrast that with the record job creation and record low unemployment of the Branstad administration and it's not hard to understand why Iowans are asking Gov. Branstad to lead our state's economic comeback."

It also released a new TV spot touting Branstad's message of "conservative change." Kim Alfano of the Delaware-based firm Alfano Communications is producing Branstad's ads.